Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP)-guided therapy with those of intensive clinical management and with usual care (UC) on clinical outcomes in chronic symptomatic heart failure.
Background: Initial trial results suggest titration of therapy guided by serial plasma B-type natriuretic peptide levels improves outcomes in patients with chronic heart failure, but the concept has not received widespread acceptance. Accordingly, we conducted a longer-term study comparing the effects of NT-proBNP-guided therapy with those of intensive clinical management and with UC of patients with heart failure.
Methods: Three hundred sixty-four patients admitted to a single hospital with heart failure were randomly allocated 1:1:1 (stratified by age) to therapy guided by NT-proBNP levels or by intensive clinical management, or according to UC. Treatment strategies were applied for 2 years with follow-up to 3 years.
Results: One-year mortality was less in both the hormone- (9.1%) and clinically-guided (9.1%) groups compared with UC (18.9%; p = 0.03). Three-year mortality was selectively reduced in patients <or=75 years of age receiving hormone-guided treatment (15.5%) compared with their peers receiving either clinically managed treatment (30.9%; p = 0.048) or UC (31.3%; p = 0.021).
Conclusions: Intensive management of chronic heart failure improves 1-year mortality compared with UC. Compared with clinically guided treatment and UC, hormone-guided treatment selectively improves longer-term mortality in patients <or=75 years of age. (NT-proBNP-Assisted Treatment To Lessen Serial Cardiac Readmissions and Death [BATTLESCARRED]; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry 12605000735651).
Copyright (c) 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.